AUAF, AAC Present Assyriska Training Camp
More than forty young Assyrian men aged fifteen to twenty-five participated in the first-ever Assyriska FF Training Camp sponsored by AUAF. AUAF was proud to partner with the Assyrian Athletic Club (AAC) to organize the event. The camp took place at The Athletico Center in Northbrook, Illinois. A delegation representing Assyriska FF—a Swedish-based, Assyrian-owned professional soccer team—traveled to Chicago seeking new talent. The delegation included Assyriska’s Sports Director Bobil Minasson, Communications Director Delmon Haffo, and Club President, Johnny Minasson.
Prior to arriving in Chicago, J. Minasson said, “I’m excited and looking forward to coming to the US to strengthen our cooperation and find new talents to get the chance to shine in his Assyrian national team in Sweden.”
The training camp was led by Coach Carlos Banda. Banda is a Chilean-Swedish former professional soccer player. He has successfully coached professional teams since 2003. Banda has been hired by Assyriska FF to assist them in identifying talent as they look to rebuild their team.
Two American-born Assyrians have been identified and were previously selected for a second tryout in Sweden: Manny Elkhory and Willy Suarez. Communications Director Delmon Haffo noted that Banda had identified an additional two to three players at the AUAF-sponsored camp who may receive an invitation to Sweden upon further evaluation.
AAC President Movina Lazar attended the event along with other representatives from the Chicago-based organization. Following the event, she said, “Seeing the excitement on these young men’s faces made this event even more memorable. I’m sure many of them have big dreams and aspirations—I’m glad we were able to give them this opportunity. We may not have a formal national team yet, but we are proud to have a team that wears our beloved Assyrian flag and carries our name proudly.”
Assyriska FF was established in 1974 by a group of Assyrian immigrants. In time, the team’s profile rose and they played in Sweden’s highest soccer league, Allsvenskan, where their games were broadcast in over eighty countries. The club has since dropped to Sweden’s third division, but looks to rebuild from the ground up and restore the team’s past glory.
Assyriska is often viewed as a substitute national team by the Assyrian people around the world. Learn more about Assyriska.